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J Clin Ultrasound. 2012 Mar-Apr;40(3):183-6. doi: 10.1002/jcu.21873. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Transthoracic echocardiography visualization of bicaval dual lumen catheters for veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96859, USA.


Bicaval dual lumen catheters improve the efficiency of veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation by minimizing recirculation with an innovative design, which requires precise placement of three catheter ports in the superior vena cava, right atrium, and inferior vena cava, respectively. However, the exact position of these catheter ports is usually not known during placement because they cannot be visualized with conventional radiography. We performed a retrospective review of our experience over the past year using transthoracic echocardiography to evaluate the position of the catheter ports. From a subcostal, sagittal imaging approach, we were able to identify all three catheter ports in 11 of 11 studies. At least one of the catheter ports was incorrectly positioned in 5 of 11 studies. Further prospective evaluation is necessary to determine if catheter repositioning based on transthoracic echocardiography findings can further improve the clinical efficiency of veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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